From real time to deal time
Business intelligence and analytics apps from Iteration and Spotfire empower all kinds of users to make smarter decisions
The emerging field of BA (business analytics) solutions extends the capabilities of BI tools with sophisticated mathematical and statistical routines and improves the ability to interact with data.
There are a wide range of tools and systems in the BA and BI galaxy. Two such noteworthy solutions, Iteration Real-time Reporting Suite and DecisionSite, deliver on innovative goals, enhancing the way organizations deal with the tidal wave of data today’s enterprise typically generates.
The Iteration Real-time Reporting Suite exemplifies how pure BI is expanding. It does a number of useful things by adding real-time turnaround to data-warehouse reporting. Iteration’s impressive interface allows those who haven’t mastered reporting technology to craft deliverables though a familiar PowerPoint-style interface, which they’re likely to already know.
Because it integrates well with other data sources, one could merge it with BA tools for more refined future data exploration.
Spotfire’s DecisionSite, a BA system, puts advanced mathematical analysis into the hands of all kinds of users in a collaborative environment that supports close teamwork. It features “guides,” essentially wizards, that allow analysts to build sets of queries, filters, and highlights so that domain experts who lack statistical knowledge can receive and then explore organized data sets.
Iteration Real-Time Reporting Suite
The Iteration suite is a real-time business management tool. Unlike traditional data warehouse products that rely on a batch-oriented ETL (extract, transform, and load) cycle, Iteration processes and presents business data as a constantly updating stream of information. By making real-time feedback consoles available to data-rich enterprises, it aids in making quicker, better-informed decisions.
The installation of the Iteration suite is fairly straightforward, after the prerequisites have been installed. There are surprisingly few configuration parameters or installation choices. The product relies on the integrated security feature in Windows for single sign-on support.
At the headwaters of the data stream is the Enterprise Link server, based on the Sagent Data Flow Server. Enterprise Link is responsible for capturing transaction messages from back-office systems, EAI systems, existing data stores, data warehouses, OLTP (Online Transaction Processing) systems, and the like. The Data Flow Server transforms messages on the fly using the Sagent data-flow language and then sends them on to the ADC (Active Data Cache).
The ADC is the heart of the Iteration system. Once there, the system uses messages to update or add to the existing information. The system keeps the data entirely in memory. Performance figures bear out the wisdom in this design: The ADC can process up to 11,000 records per second. On the downside, this design places a heavy burden on the hardware. Iteration recommends a server with at least four processors and 8GB of memory to get started.